Insurance related news captured a lot of headlines in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Stay at home orders and social distancing drastically changed our day-to-day lives and therefore our needs as it relates to insurance, specifically auto insurance. Fewer people driving meant fewer accidents and the need for broad reaching auto coverage was less necessary.
In an effort to financially help policy holders, many insurance companies offered a variety of discounts and refunds since there were far fewer drivers on the road. In addition, some people got creative with their policy to maximize their savings due to their minimal risk during the lock down.
While many maximized their savings, it is critical to not forget to get back to the coverage you once had. If you made any of the following four adjustments to your insurance policies, you should speak to your agent in order to update your policy again. It is critical that you don’t expose yourself to greater risk, especially just as you start to go back to work.
Road Coverage Change to Storage Coverage
As many sat at home, with minimal traveling during Michigan’s stay at home orders, some households removed road coverage on one or more vehicles that were not being driven. In removing road coverage, that vehicle was put into storage coverage. This is insuring your auto’s with only comprehensive coverage. This offers protection to your vehicle while it sits idle from things like fire, theft, vandalism, glass breakage and more. However, to legally drive that vehicle on the road again, you need to apply the required road coverages. If you are in this camp and are now returning to the roads, make sure to get that coverage back onto your policy ASAP.
In some cases, policy holders made the decision to completely remove their physical damage coverage, better known as full coverage, or collision and comprehensive. Those that drove on a very limited basis took a risk with this in order to reduce cost while maintaining the minimal coverages needed to drive legally. Once again, it is imperative that this change be reversed as you begin driving more frequently.
Higher Deductibles, Lower Liability
Some opted to key full coverage but adjusted coverages in order to minimize cost. They did this by increasing their deductibles, lowering their liability coverage and completely removed roadside and car rental coverages. As drivers start to get back on the roads with the Michigan economy slowly opening back up, these adjustments should be reversed to make sure you are protected.
Many insurance carriers offered policy adjustments such as no late payment fees and continued coverage even if a payment was missed. These changes were temporary and most, but not all, carriers have ended their payment leniency periods. Those funds are now due and we strongly advise contacting your agent to discuss options if they are in arrears. Failure to do could result in the policy being cancelled at some point.
What Policy Holders Learned from COVID-19
As it relates to insurance, many policy holders become more engaged with their various insurance policies than ever before. With many losing jobs and income as a result of the pandemic, it has been critical to find costs savings wherever possible. Beyond just auto insurance, many also took their time at home to shop homeowner’s insurance policies as well.
We got a lot of calls and emails from policy holders seeking a more active role in managing their policies, becoming more informed on what their options are and making decisions that would help them save. But beyond just the cost savings, insurance agents and carriers were put through their paces as well. Some met the moment with exceptional customer service, while others came up short.
Now more than ever, people understand the importance of having a responsive, informed and proactive insurance agent in their corner. The COVID-19 crisis showed that traditional customer service in the insurance industry still has a place. Moving forward, people will be looking beyond the agents that can give the lowest rate. They will understand their needs and will want the kind of customer service that can help them navigate a crisis.